February 21, 2016 by Nathaniel Tower
I am now 34 years old. To date, I have zero bestsellers to my name. Clearly it’s time to give up writing forever. I mean, what’s the point of dragging it out for another three or four decades before I meet my untimely demise?
If you’re thinking whether or not you should do the same, here are 34 reasons you most definitely should never write another thing as long as you live.
1. You’re over 25 years old and have never written a bestseller (other than the time your self-published novel hit #99 in a sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub category at 2:47 AM on Amazon).
2. You are X years old and you know that so-and-so author had Y number of books written by that age. Naturally, you have fewer than Y number of books.
3. An online lit mag with 12 monthly readers rejected the best story you’ve ever written.
4. Only 10% of your friends bothered to “like” your last Facebook status about your new publication.
5. You haven’t had anything published or accepted in the past week.
6. You recall some English professor telling you that you wouldn’t make it as a writer.
7. Your mom promised she was going to buy copies of your book for all her church group friends, but you don’t see any reviews from any of them on Amazon.
8. A Goodreads user named Bloodynazibung69 gave your book a 1-star review.
9. There were more empty chairs than full ones at your last reading.
10. A casual Facebook friend you haven’t seen in seven years turned down a free signed copy of your book and said, “A PDF copy would be fine.”
11. Your high school didn’t list your latest publication in the class notes section of the last alumni newsletter.
12. You didn’t write at least 1,000 words before breakfast this morning.
13. You wrote 1,000 words before breakfast this morning, but at least 997 of them sucked.
14. 3 people unfriended you after you spammed 712 of your friends with a personal message about your upcoming publication.
15. Someone on Twitter said something that wasn’t 100% encouraging about your writing.
16. No one said anything about you on Twitter.
17. Your computer spontaneously shut off the other day when you were in the middle of the fifteenth chapter of your latest masterpiece, and you’re pretty sure the autosaved version was missing at least half a page, which just so happened to be the best half page you’ve ever written.
18. Your last submission was rejected because you didn’t follow the guidelines.
19. The New Yorker still hasn’t responded to that query about your awesome series of hilarious politically charged sestinas.
20. You didn’t get any Pushcart nominations during the past year. Not even one from a lit mag that only published 7 stories during the whole year.
21. You had more “likes” on your status update about how you pooped twice on Monday than you did on the seventh post you made about that new poem you have up at the No One Cares Review.
22. A Facebook friend you don’t really like had more publications than you last year.
23. You didn’t like any of the stories published in the last issue of the magazine that rejected your story.
24. Your self-published book was rejected by Amazon for being plagiarized.
25. A lit mag a friend of yours used to read for three years ago rejected your story even though you mentioned that friend by name in your cover letter.
26. One of the contributor copies of your last book had a small tear in the cover.
27. You know for a fact that your last submission was rejected because of the preconceived notions the editor had about you based on your name.
28. You weren’t invited to do anything cool at AWP even though you bought your plane tickets 17 months in advance and posted 47 times on Facebook about how you were going to AWP an it was going to rock.
29. You bought more books than you sold last year.
30. The writer friend you asked to edit your novel said she couldn’t relate to the misogynistic main character.
31. You ran out of manila envelopes and can’t query the seven remaining agents who don’t take electronic submissions.
32. Your last query was rejected because your Pride and Prejudice spin-off, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Minions, seemed a bit too unoriginal, not to mention a massive lawsuit waiting to happen.
33. The dinosaur erotica book you self-published didn’t even make the top ten on Amazon for Erotica > Dinosaur Erotica > Winged Dinosaur Erotica > Winged Dinosaur Erotica Cretaceous Period > Pterodactyl Porn.
34. You consulted a list you saw on a rather unsuccessful writing blog to determine whether or not you should still be a writer.